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Loons overrun in first half of a 1-0 loss to New York City

NYC is riding a seven game unbeaten streak in league play (6-0-1) since early April and entered Saturday with the league’s best goal differential (plus-14).

MLS: New York City FC at Minnesota United FC
New York City FC midfielder Santiago Rodriguez (20) and Minnesota United midfielder Emanuel Reynoso (10) battle for the ball during the second half at Allianz Field in Saint Paul, Minnesota, on May 28, 2022.
Matt Krohn / USA Today Sports
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New York City FC possessed the ball in Minnesota United’s defensive third for what seemed like minutes during Saturday’s first half at Allianz Field.

The Loons got the ball back only when New York accidentally passed it out of bounds. After the throw-in, Minnesota promptly gave it right back and not long afterward, New York’s Alexander Callens header goal off a corner kick provided the breakthrough.

New York continued to control possession as if Minnesota were down to 10 men; they weren’t.

“It feels almost as if they are a number up here,” color commentator Kyndra de St. Aubin opined as the first half wrapped up.

Loons manager Adrian Heath adjusted to the disparity, switching from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-3-3 formation to get another player in midfield. Robin Lod joined Wil Trapp and Joseph Rosales. Luis Amarilla subbed on at the half and joined Emanuel Reynoso and Franco Fragapane.

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Minnesota was brighter to start the half, but it couldn’t find a breakthrough in a 1-0 loss to the defending MLS Cup champions.

The Loons weren’t able to kick the hangover from the stunning upset loss to Union Omaha in the U.S. Open Cup round of 16. MNUFC (5-6-3) now enters an international break needing to clear their heads, with nearly 60 percent of the season remaining.

MLS: New York City FC at Minnesota United FC
Minnesota United goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair (97) makes a save during the second half against the New York City FC at Allianz Field in Saint Paul, Minnesota, on May 28, 2022.
Matt Krohn / USA Today Sports

Minnesota continued to struggle at home and did so in front of what appeared to be the largest crowd at Allianz Field this season. The Loons have squandered more points in its first seven games than any of its previous five MLS seasons.

Minnesota started the game strong with Fragapane nearly scoring in the fourth minute, but he didn’t challenge Sean Johnson enough, and the U.S. international was able to reach down and get a palm on the shot.

They closed the game with chances, too. Reynoso and Lod having back-to-back shots stopped by Johnson in the 90th minute. Reynoso then hit a gorgeous through ball to Amarilla, but an New York defender poked the ball away.

About 10 minutes after New York’s goal, Brent Kallman nearly tied the game with a header off a Reynoso corner kick, but it hit the woodwork.

NYC is riding a seven game unbeaten streak in league play (6-0-1) since early April and entered Saturday with the league’s best goal differential (plus-14).

New York’s offense leads the league with 6.3 shots on target per match, are tied for second with 2.0 goals per game and league MVP candidate Valentin “Taty” Castellanos is tied for third in the league with seven goals this season.

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Loons starters Michael Boxall and Kervin Arriaga were suspended from Saturday’s game due to yellow-card accumulation.

BRIEFLY

MNUFC’s next MLS game is June 19 (at New England), and its next home game isn’t until July 3 (Real Salt Lake). The Loons will have an international friendly against SC Paderborn 07 of Germany’s second division on June 11. … Samantha Thompson, one of the longest-tenured MNUFC employees, is leaving her role as Project Manager at Allianz Field. Thompson, a club employee since 2014, is leaving for another opportunity in MLS.

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This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

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